3:11 PM EDT

Bill Shuster, R-PA 9th

Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

H.R. 5021, the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014, extends Federal surface transportation programs and ensures the solvency of the highway trust fund through May 2015. H.R. 5021 is a clean extension of the surface transportation programs and continues the MAP-21 reforms.

We have an immediate, critical need to address the solvency of the trust fund and extend the current surface transportation law. This bill does that in a responsible way, with policies that have all previously received strong bipartisan and bicameral support. If Congress fails to act, thousands of transportation projects and hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country will be at risk. This legislation provides much-needed certainty and stability for the States.

This bill in no way precludes Congress from continuing to work on addressing a long-term funding solution and a long-term reauthorization bill, which remains a top priority for the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. However, this legislation is the responsible solution at this time, ensures that we don't play politics with these programs, and enables us to continue making improvements to our surface transportation system.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

Committee on Education and the Workforce, House of Representatives,

Washington, DC, July 14, 2014.

Hon. Bill Shuster,

Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Washington, DC.

Dear Mr. Chairman: I am writing to confirm our mutual understanding with respect to H.R. 5021, the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014. Thank you for consulting with the Committee on Education and the Workforce with regard to H.R. 5021 on those matters within the committee's jurisdiction.

In the interest of expediting the House's consideration of H.R. 5021, the Committee on Education and the Workforce will forgo further consideration of this bill. However, I do so only with the understanding this procedural route will not be construed to prejudice my committee's jurisdictional interest and prerogatives on this bill, or any other similar legislation, and will not be considered as precedent for consideration of matters of jurisdictional interest to my committee in the future.

I respectfully request your support for the appointment of outside conferees from the Committee on Education and the Workforce should this bill or a similar bill be considered in a conference with the Senate. I also request you include our exchange of letters on this matter in the Congressional Record during consideration of this bill on the House floor. Thank you for your attention to these matters.

Sincerely,

John Kline,

Chairman.

--

Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House of Representatives,

Washington, DC, July 15, 2014

Hon. John Kline,

Chairman, Committee on Education and the Workforce, Washington, DC.

Dear Mr. Chairman: Thank you for your letter regarding H.R. 5021, the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014. I appreciate your willingness to support expediting the consideration of this legislation on the House floor.

I acknowledge that by forgoing action on this legislation, the Committee on Education and the Workforce is not waiving any of its jurisdiction and will not be prejudiced with respect to the appointment of conferees or its jurisdictional prerogatives on this or similar legislation.

I appreciate your cooperation regarding this legislation and I will include our letters on H.R. 5021 in the Congressional Record during consideration of this measure on the House floor.

Sincerely,

Bill Shuster,

Chairman.

3:12 PM EDT

Nick Rahall II, D-WV 3rd

Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, passage of this bill today is absolutely necessary to keep our surface transportation programs up and running. In less than a month, the highway trust fund will go belly up and force-feed our States rationed payments for their transportation and infrastructure investments. This would starve our national economy, put States in a desperate situation, and [Page: H6250]

cost jobs. Congress must act now to avert this unnecessary crisis.

The bill under consideration today will help States get through the remainder of the construction season. It will also provide time for Congress to come together and pass a longer-term surface transportation law so that we don't find ourselves in this crisis mode again.

But this needs to happen sooner rather than later because this bill leaves our highway, transit, and safety programs on autopilot. While the driverless car may be the wave of the future, it is no way to run our transportation programs, and I know the chairman has driven those cars on autopilot.

Passing extension after extension only brings us more of the same, and our States have already said that the status quo isn't meeting their needs.

A long-term, robust surface transportation bill is the only way we are going to address our greatest infrastructure challenges. It is the only way we will be able to build on what works and reform what isn't. It is one of the few sure-fire ways to boost our economy, create jobs, and help us compete with our global rivals.

``Starving the beast'' simply doesn't work when it comes to transportation and infrastructure policy. We need greater investment in our roads and bridges. We need an increased focus on moving freight across our borders and overseas.

We should grow regional collaborations to build significant projects, and we must bring every possible transportation job back to the U.S. to be done by American workers.

It is worth noting that this debate is about far more than accounting, dollar signs, and trust funds. It is about the men and women who work in these industries and have to face needless uncertainty about their futures. It is about those that rely on public transit systems. And it is about the driving public who must endure aging infrastructure and the car repair bills and safety concerns that come with it.

I am going to vote for this bill today not because it is the best solution, but because it does avert an immediate crisis and keeps the ball rolling forward.

I thank the members of the Ways and Means Committee for their work on this bill, and I look forward to working with our chairman, Mr. Shuster, to bring forward a robust, long-term surface transportation bill to vote on in the near future.

I reserve the balance of my time.

[Time: 15:15]

3:12 PM EDT

Nick Rahall II, D-WV 3rd

Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, passage of this bill today is absolutely necessary to keep our surface transportation programs up and running. In less than a month, the highway trust fund will go belly up and force-feed our States rationed payments for their transportation and infrastructure investments. This would starve our national economy, put States in a desperate situation, and [Page: H6250]

cost jobs. Congress must act now to avert this unnecessary crisis.

The bill under consideration today will help States get through the remainder of the construction season. It will also provide time for Congress to come together and pass a longer-term surface transportation law so that we don't find ourselves in this crisis mode again.

But this needs to happen sooner rather than later because this bill leaves our highway, transit, and safety programs on autopilot. While the driverless car may be the wave of the future, it is no way to run our transportation programs, and I know the chairman has driven those cars on autopilot.

Passing extension after extension only brings us more of the same, and our States have already said that the status quo isn't meeting their needs.

A long-term, robust surface transportation bill is the only way we are going to address our greatest infrastructure challenges. It is the only way we will be able to build on what works and reform what isn't. It is one of the few sure-fire ways to boost our economy, create jobs, and help us compete with our global rivals.

``Starving the beast'' simply doesn't work when it comes to transportation and infrastructure policy. We need greater investment in our roads and bridges. We need an increased focus on moving freight across our borders and overseas.

We should grow regional collaborations to build significant projects, and we must bring every possible transportation job back to the U.S. to be done by American workers.

It is worth noting that this debate is about far more than accounting, dollar signs, and trust funds. It is about the men and women who work in these industries and have to face needless uncertainty about their futures. It is about those that rely on public transit systems. And it is about the driving public who must endure aging infrastructure and the car repair bills and safety concerns that come with it.

I am going to vote for this bill today not because it is the best solution, but because it does avert an immediate crisis and keeps the ball rolling forward.

I thank the members of the Ways and Means Committee for their work on this bill, and I look forward to working with our chairman, Mr. Shuster, to bring forward a robust, long-term surface transportation bill to vote on in the near future.

I reserve the balance of my time.

[Time: 15:15]

3:12 PM EDT

Nick Rahall II, D-WV 3rd

Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, passage of this bill today is absolutely necessary to keep our surface transportation programs up and running. In less than a month, the highway trust fund will go belly up and force-feed our States rationed payments for their transportation and infrastructure investments. This would starve our national economy, put States in a desperate situation, and [Page: H6250]

cost jobs. Congress must act now to avert this unnecessary crisis.

The bill under consideration today will help States get through the remainder of the construction season. It will also provide time for Congress to come together and pass a longer-term surface transportation law so that we don't find ourselves in this crisis mode again.

But this needs to happen sooner rather than later because this bill leaves our highway, transit, and safety programs on autopilot. While the driverless car may be the wave of the future, it is no way to run our transportation programs, and I know the chairman has driven those cars on autopilot.

Passing extension after extension only brings us more of the same, and our States have already said that the status quo isn't meeting their needs.

A long-term, robust surface transportation bill is the only way we are going to address our greatest infrastructure challenges. It is the only way we will be able to build on what works and reform what isn't. It is one of the few sure-fire ways to boost our economy, create jobs, and help us compete with our global rivals.

``Starving the beast'' simply doesn't work when it comes to transportation and infrastructure policy. We need greater investment in our roads and bridges. We need an increased focus on moving freight across our borders and overseas.

We should grow regional collaborations to build significant projects, and we must bring every possible transportation job back to the U.S. to be done by American workers.

It is worth noting that this debate is about far more than accounting, dollar signs, and trust funds. It is about the men and women who work in these industries and have to face needless uncertainty about their futures. It is about those that rely on public transit systems. And it is about the driving public who must endure aging infrastructure and the car repair bills and safety concerns that come with it.

I am going to vote for this bill today not because it is the best solution, but because it does avert an immediate crisis and keeps the ball rolling forward.

I thank the members of the Ways and Means Committee for their work on this bill, and I look forward to working with our chairman, Mr. Shuster, to bring forward a robust, long-term surface transportation bill to vote on in the near future.

I reserve the balance of my time.

[Time: 15:15]

3:15 PM EDT

Tom Petri, R-WI 6th

Mr. PETRI. Mr. Speaker, the debate we are having today is not really about the future of the highway trust fund. Unfortunately, today is about doing what Congress does too often--kicking the can down the road, avoiding one crisis while setting up another.

I recognize that more time is often needed to craft a more robust bipartisan solution, the result of which is often well worth the delay, but, Mr. Speaker, we must come to our senses. We must realize that another short-term patch is not really what our State governments are calling for; this is not really what the American Trucking Association or the Chamber of Commerce is calling for; and this is not what the American people sent us here to accomplish.

For close to 50 years, the highway trust fund was self-sustaining. Those who used the roads paid for the roads. But we have been stalled in the 20th century. The fuel tax, which traditionally paid for highway improvements, hasn't been changed since 1993, while construction costs have grown more expensive, cars have become more fuel efficient or run on alternative fuels, and infrastructure needs have continued to rise.

In the Highways and Transit Subcommittee, we have had hearing after hearing where State transportation officials, mayors, Governors, truckers, transit operators, economists, and experts in transportation policy have testified with unwavering support for a long-term, fully funded surface transportation bill. That should be our goal.

But at the end of the day, we can't let the quest for the perfect stand in the way of the good or the acceptable. In this case, we have an obligation to keep our highway projects going, our transportation moving, and our economy growing. Since this is the only option we have today, this is what we will do.

We need to stop the patches and budget gimmicks and come up with a viable, real solution on how we fund the trust fund. History shows that it is hard to do before an election. Perhaps it will be easy to do after that.

So I ask my colleagues to consider this question: Which is the more responsible path, more budget gimmicks or raising revenue to actually pay for needed spending?

3:15 PM EDT

Tom Petri, R-WI 6th

Mr. PETRI. Mr. Speaker, the debate we are having today is not really about the future of the highway trust fund. Unfortunately, today is about doing what Congress does too often--kicking the can down the road, avoiding one crisis while setting up another.

I recognize that more time is often needed to craft a more robust bipartisan solution, the result of which is often well worth the delay, but, Mr. Speaker, we must come to our senses. We must realize that another short-term patch is not really what our State governments are calling for; this is not really what the American Trucking Association or the Chamber of Commerce is calling for; and this is not what the American people sent us here to accomplish.

For close to 50 years, the highway trust fund was self-sustaining. Those who used the roads paid for the roads. But we have been stalled in the 20th century. The fuel tax, which traditionally paid for highway improvements, hasn't been changed since 1993, while construction costs have grown more expensive, cars have become more fuel efficient or run on alternative fuels, and infrastructure needs have continued to rise.

In the Highways and Transit Subcommittee, we have had hearing after hearing where State transportation officials, mayors, Governors, truckers, transit operators, economists, and experts in transportation policy have testified with unwavering support for a long-term, fully funded surface transportation bill. That should be our goal.

But at the end of the day, we can't let the quest for the perfect stand in the way of the good or the acceptable. In this case, we have an obligation to keep our highway projects going, our transportation moving, and our economy growing. Since this is the only option we have today, this is what we will do.

We need to stop the patches and budget gimmicks and come up with a viable, real solution on how we fund the trust fund. History shows that it is hard to do before an election. Perhaps it will be easy to do after that.

So I ask my colleagues to consider this question: Which is the more responsible path, more budget gimmicks or raising revenue to actually pay for needed spending?

3:17 PM EDT

Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-DC

Ms. NORTON. I thank my good friend from West Virginia for yielding, and I thank both the chairman and the ranking member for their hard work on this bill. I know that they both wanted a long-term bill and that they have worked for a long-term bill.

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that we have a bipartisan, bicameral bill, but I think that for all concerned, it expresses bipartisan disappointment. We had 2 years to do a bill since MAP-21, and all we have been able to produce is an 8-month stopgap fix.

At the same time, the States and the localities we represent are probably grateful for small favors today. The administration had already announced rationing because of the insolvency of the trust fund as of August 1, with only what little money would come in to replenish the trust fund for each State.

We were staring at both an insolvent trust fund and a loss of the construction season at the same time. That would have been an economic catastrophe, with the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs. We must use this moment to face that we cannot rebuild our bridges, roads, and transit systems on pension-smoothing stopgap extensions.

The State backlog of projects will be left untouched by this bill. Because we have produced a climate of uncertainty, States won't dare start up the real work that needs to be done on their roads, bridges, and transit because they are getting a patchwork bill. Patchwork bills yield patched-up roads and bridges and deteriorating transit.

At the very least, we owe it to the country to revisit this bill as soon as possible and as early as October. The delay in MAP-21 got us today's stopgap measure. Congress needs a spur under its saddle to avoid another delay.

3:18 PM EDT

Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-DC

Ms. NORTON. I thank my good friend from West Virginia for yielding, and I thank both the chairman and the ranking member for their hard work on this bill. I know that they both wanted a long-term bill and that they have worked for a long-term bill.

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate that we have a bipartisan, bicameral bill, but I think that for all concerned, it expresses bipartisan disappointment. We had 2 years to do a bill since MAP-21, and all we have been able to produce is an 8-month stopgap fix.

At the same time, the States and the localities we represent are probably grateful for small favors today. The administration had already announced rationing because of the insolvency of the trust fund as of August 1, with only what little money would come in to replenish the trust fund for each State.

We were staring at both an insolvent trust fund and a loss of the construction season at the same time. That would have been an economic catastrophe, with the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs. We must use this moment to face that we cannot rebuild our bridges, roads, and transit systems on pension-smoothing stopgap extensions.

The State backlog of projects will be left untouched by this bill. Because we have produced a climate of uncertainty, States won't dare start up the real work that needs to be done on their roads, bridges, and transit because they are getting a patchwork bill. Patchwork bills yield patched-up roads and bridges and deteriorating transit.

At the very least, we owe it to the country to revisit this bill as soon as possible and as early as October. The delay in MAP-21 got us today's stopgap measure. Congress needs a spur under its saddle to avoid another delay.

3:20 PM EDT

Rick Crawford, R-AR 1st

Mr. CRAWFORD. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for his work on H.R. 5021, which I rise in support of this afternoon, which provides greater certainty and sufficient funding for infrastructure projects across the Nation. Without an immediate solution for the highway trust fund, our State highway departments are left wondering if there will be adequate funding to continue any infrastructure improvement.

In March of this year, the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department warned that, without congressional action to remedy the highway trust fund shortfall, continuing with highway and infrastructure contracts that were scheduled for April letting would have threatened the ability to pay contractors. As a result, 10 vital projects totaling over $60 million were either put on hold or forced to find alternative methods of temporary financing.

My colleagues have described similar scenarios in their own States, meaning that across the Nation new infrastructure projects have already ground to a halt, threatening general contractors, their employees, suppliers, and putting at risk the jobs that are both directly and indirectly supported by these projects.

I think most lawmakers can agree that ensuring that we have a reliable and modern infrastructure on land, water, rail, and air is critical. With the Senate announcing last week an agreement with Chairman Camp and House leaders to enact a short-term funding [Page: H6251]

solution, we can now turn our attention back to a multiyear transportation bill that will provide long-term assurance to States for financing infrastructure improvements.

In moving forward with a long-term bill, we can spend time with stakeholders and constituents--the ultimate users of the infrastructure--and allow them to weigh in on what is being considered. As we return our focus to long-term legislation, we must also examine how to reform the highway trust fund so that taxpayers will know how their dollars are being spent. With costs increasing and funds at a premium, we owe our constituents a more transparent system that demonstrates effective use of their

money on infrastructure improvement.

I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting H.R. 5021, and I look forward to working on a long-term, comprehensive transportation bill to ensure our Nation's future growth. We can't continue to beat the drum to attract businesses, add jobs, and improve the economy if we are not willing to use our authority to invest in our Nation's infrastructure.

3:20 PM EDT

Rick Crawford, R-AR 1st

Mr. CRAWFORD. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman for his work on H.R. 5021, which I rise in support of this afternoon, which provides greater certainty and sufficient funding for infrastructure projects across the Nation. Without an immediate solution for the highway trust fund, our State highway departments are left wondering if there will be adequate funding to continue any infrastructure improvement.

In March of this year, the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department warned that, without congressional action to remedy the highway trust fund shortfall, continuing with highway and infrastructure contracts that were scheduled for April letting would have threatened the ability to pay contractors. As a result, 10 vital projects totaling over $60 million were either put on hold or forced to find alternative methods of temporary financing.

My colleagues have described similar scenarios in their own States, meaning that across the Nation new infrastructure projects have already ground to a halt, threatening general contractors, their employees, suppliers, and putting at risk the jobs that are both directly and indirectly supported by these projects.

I think most lawmakers can agree that ensuring that we have a reliable and modern infrastructure on land, water, rail, and air is critical. With the Senate announcing last week an agreement with Chairman Camp and House leaders to enact a short-term funding [Page: H6251]

solution, we can now turn our attention back to a multiyear transportation bill that will provide long-term assurance to States for financing infrastructure improvements.

In moving forward with a long-term bill, we can spend time with stakeholders and constituents--the ultimate users of the infrastructure--and allow them to weigh in on what is being considered. As we return our focus to long-term legislation, we must also examine how to reform the highway trust fund so that taxpayers will know how their dollars are being spent. With costs increasing and funds at a premium, we owe our constituents a more transparent system that demonstrates effective use of their

money on infrastructure improvement.

I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting H.R. 5021, and I look forward to working on a long-term, comprehensive transportation bill to ensure our Nation's future growth. We can't continue to beat the drum to attract businesses, add jobs, and improve the economy if we are not willing to use our authority to invest in our Nation's infrastructure.

3:22 PM EDT

Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-TX 30th

Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, allow me to thank Chairman Shuster and Ranking Member Rahall and Subcommittee Chair Petri and Ranking Member Eleanor Holmes Norton.

I rise today in support of H.R. 5021, the Highway and Transportation Funding Act for 2014.

In particular, the bill before the House this afternoon would do two things: first, it would provide a total of $35.3 billion for highway, public transit, and surface transportation programs; secondly, it would extend surface transportation programs authorized under MAP-21 through May 31, 2015.

I support this bill because it takes almost 60,000 construction jobs in Texas out of harm's way, and it ensures that over 3,500 active highway and transit projects in Texas will not be slowed or stopped by the highway trust fund's shortfall.

However, my support for this bill is reluctant, as I believe we have missed another opportunity to craft a long-term highway program yet again. While I am pleased that we have come together to address the impeding highway crisis, we are also kicking the can down the road again.

Today, 65 percent of our Nation's roads are rated at less than good condition, and 25 percent of our bridges require significant repair. In Texas alone, we have over 300,000 miles of public roads, 8 percent of which are in poor condition.

The measure before us today all but ensures that we will be having this exact same debate again sometime in the next Congress; rather, what we need to do is adopt a long-term plan that will provide certainty, increase transit investments, and keep workers in our construction industries on the job. When we return from the August recess, I urge my colleagues to work together and begin crafting a long-term surface transportation bill. We have seen again and again legislating by crisis is not effective.

3:22 PM EDT

Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-TX 30th

Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, allow me to thank Chairman Shuster and Ranking Member Rahall and Subcommittee Chair Petri and Ranking Member Eleanor Holmes Norton.

I rise today in support of H.R. 5021, the Highway and Transportation Funding Act for 2014.

In particular, the bill before the House this afternoon would do two things: first, it would provide a total of $35.3 billion for highway, public transit, and surface transportation programs; secondly, it would extend surface transportation programs authorized under MAP-21 through May 31, 2015.

I support this bill because it takes almost 60,000 construction jobs in Texas out of harm's way, and it ensures that over 3,500 active highway and transit projects in Texas will not be slowed or stopped by the highway trust fund's shortfall.

However, my support for this bill is reluctant, as I believe we have missed another opportunity to craft a long-term highway program yet again. While I am pleased that we have come together to address the impeding highway crisis, we are also kicking the can down the road again.

Today, 65 percent of our Nation's roads are rated at less than good condition, and 25 percent of our bridges require significant repair. In Texas alone, we have over 300,000 miles of public roads, 8 percent of which are in poor condition.

The measure before us today all but ensures that we will be having this exact same debate again sometime in the next Congress; rather, what we need to do is adopt a long-term plan that will provide certainty, increase transit investments, and keep workers in our construction industries on the job. When we return from the August recess, I urge my colleagues to work together and begin crafting a long-term surface transportation bill. We have seen again and again legislating by crisis is not effective.

3:25 PM EDT

Lou Barletta, R-PA 11th

Mr. BARLETTA. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this legislation that will keep our highway trust fund solvent until we agree on a long-term solution.

If we fail to act, the money to fund surface transportation projects will soon run dry. That could result in the stoppage of more than 7,000 projects. We would lose countless jobs across the country, and in my home State of Pennsylvania as well.

I have always supported a highway bill of a least 5 years or more, but in the absence of one, I support this proposal to give us time to work out a longer-term funding solution. We need a plan that will meet our transportation needs while also providing contractors and builders the guidance they need to invest in equipment and employees.

I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on this important piece of legislation.

3:25 PM EDT

Lou Barletta, R-PA 11th

Mr. BARLETTA. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this legislation that will keep our highway trust fund solvent until we agree on a long-term solution.

If we fail to act, the money to fund surface transportation projects will soon run dry. That could result in the stoppage of more than 7,000 projects. We would lose countless jobs across the country, and in my home State of Pennsylvania as well.

I have always supported a highway bill of a least 5 years or more, but in the absence of one, I support this proposal to give us time to work out a longer-term funding solution. We need a plan that will meet our transportation needs while also providing contractors and builders the guidance they need to invest in equipment and employees.

I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on this important piece of legislation.

3:26 PM EDT

Janice K Hahn, D-CA 44th

Ms. HAHN. Mr. Speaker, I thank Chairman Shuster and Ranking Member Rahall for bringing this before us today.

This short-term highway trust fund fix is crucial for keeping our highway and transit systems solvent, and I intend to vote for it. Letting the highway trust fund become insolvent would be irresponsible and cut 700,000 jobs and increase congestion. But once our work is done here today, we do need a long-term, creative solution to fund our much-needed transportation projects in this country.

Over 64 percent of the roads in Los Angeles are in utter disrepair, costing each resident driver nearly $832 a year. My own dad, who was a county supervisor in Los Angeles for 40 years, used to offer people a dollar for every pothole they could find in his district. If he made that offer today, he would go broke.

To fill this funding gap, I support looking at different ways of funding our roads in addition to the gas tax, such as vehicle miles traveled, which charges drivers by the miles that they travel.

For our national economy, we need to focus on freight infrastructure. Freight bottlenecks cost us approximately $200 billion a year. Yesterday, I introduced the National Freight Network Trust Fund Act for a long-term fix that creates dedicated funding for our freight infrastructure.

I urge all of my colleagues to support this short-term fix and join me in looking forward to solving this problem long term.

3:28 PM EDT

Larry D. Bucshon M.D., R-IN 8th

Mr. BUCSHON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of this legislation.

Last year, I was honored to be conferee a for MAP-21, the highway bill, and I am proud of the bill that our conference committee produced and was subsequently signed into law. Our Nation's transportation projects are being completed faster, and States like my home State of Indiana receive more Federal funding than they had in the past.

We do need a long-term solution to fund our infrastructure. Today, however, we need to support this extension. This funding is critical for projects such as Interstate 69, which runs through my district.

With construction season underway, we need to ensure that every State can continue with the summer construction projects that are ongoing. This legislation is necessary to keep thousands of Americans working to rebuild our infrastructure--improving the flow of commerce and ensuring the safety of Americans as they travel.

I would like to thank Chairman Camp and Chairman Shuster for their leadership, and I urge all of my colleagues to support this legislation.

[Time: 15:30]

3:28 PM EDT

Larry D. Bucshon M.D., R-IN 8th

Mr. BUCSHON. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of this legislation.

Last year, I was honored to be conferee a for MAP-21, the highway bill, and I am proud of the bill that our conference committee produced and was subsequently signed into law. Our Nation's transportation projects are being completed faster, and States like my home State of Indiana receive more Federal funding than they had in the past.

We do need a long-term solution to fund our infrastructure. Today, however, we need to support this extension. This funding is critical for projects such as Interstate 69, which runs through my district.

With construction season underway, we need to ensure that every State can continue with the summer construction projects that are ongoing. This legislation is necessary to keep thousands of Americans working to rebuild our infrastructure--improving the flow of commerce and ensuring the safety of Americans as they travel.

I would like to thank Chairman Camp and Chairman Shuster for their leadership, and I urge all of my colleagues to support this legislation.

[Time: 15:30]

3:30 PM EDT

Peter A. DeFazio, D-OR 4th

Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Speaker, we can pretend that we care about the future of America and its transportation system. We used to be number one in the world, widely recognized. We are now rated 26th, and we are moving down quickly.

The system is falling apart. There are 140,000 bridges that need repair or replacement, and 40 percent of the pavement on the National Highway System has failed to the point at which [Page: H6252]

you have to dig it up, not just resurface it. There is a $70 billion backlog in our transit systems just to bring everything up to a state of good repair. That is not even to begin to think about building a 21st century transportation system to compete with the rest of the

world. For the Chinese, 9 percent of their GDP goes to transportation. They want to be able to move people and goods more efficiently and to out-compete us. Even Brazil, 6 percent. India, 6 percent. The United States of America, 1 percent. We have got to get serious about this.

Today, we are going to do a little shuffling around of some money, and say, oh, we can pretend, by pension smoothing and this and that, that we are creating money so we get around not creating more debt or deficit here. Come on. Really, it is pretty phony stuff. Let's get real about how we are going to fund our transportation future.

We are fighting with people who believe in a theory called ``devolution.'' That is, they want to devolve the duty of building a national transportation system to the 50 dispersed States and let them figure it out. We tried that. This is 1956. The brand new Kansas Turnpike ended in Emil Schweitzer's farm field for years because Oklahoma couldn't afford their part of that system until the Eisenhower bill passed, and we had a highway trust fund.

We know this works--user-fee based, a national system, coordinating among the States, not having roads that disconnect at the border, not tolling the heck out of everything, which some people would have us do, not fragmenting the system. What are you going to say to the Port of Los Angeles, where 40 percent of the freight comes into the country? Oh, you figure out how to get the freight out of L.A. to serve the rest of the country, and you pay for it. No. This is a national obligation. It is

international and national competitiveness. We have to get serious, and this bill here today is not serious or long term.

3:30 PM EDT

Peter A. DeFazio, D-OR 4th

Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Speaker, we can pretend that we care about the future of America and its transportation system. We used to be number one in the world, widely recognized. We are now rated 26th, and we are moving down quickly.

The system is falling apart. There are 140,000 bridges that need repair or replacement, and 40 percent of the pavement on the National Highway System has failed to the point at which [Page: H6252]

you have to dig it up, not just resurface it. There is a $70 billion backlog in our transit systems just to bring everything up to a state of good repair. That is not even to begin to think about building a 21st century transportation system to compete with the rest of the

world. For the Chinese, 9 percent of their GDP goes to transportation. They want to be able to move people and goods more efficiently and to out-compete us. Even Brazil, 6 percent. India, 6 percent. The United States of America, 1 percent. We have got to get serious about this.

Today, we are going to do a little shuffling around of some money, and say, oh, we can pretend, by pension smoothing and this and that, that we are creating money so we get around not creating more debt or deficit here. Come on. Really, it is pretty phony stuff. Let's get real about how we are going to fund our transportation future.

We are fighting with people who believe in a theory called ``devolution.'' That is, they want to devolve the duty of building a national transportation system to the 50 dispersed States and let them figure it out. We tried that. This is 1956. The brand new Kansas Turnpike ended in Emil Schweitzer's farm field for years because Oklahoma couldn't afford their part of that system until the Eisenhower bill passed, and we had a highway trust fund.

We know this works--user-fee based, a national system, coordinating among the States, not having roads that disconnect at the border, not tolling the heck out of everything, which some people would have us do, not fragmenting the system. What are you going to say to the Port of Los Angeles, where 40 percent of the freight comes into the country? Oh, you figure out how to get the freight out of L.A. to serve the rest of the country, and you pay for it. No. This is a national obligation. It is

international and national competitiveness. We have to get serious, and this bill here today is not serious or long term.

3:32 PM EDT

Shelley Moore Capito, R-WV 2nd

Mrs. CAPITO. I want to thank Chairman Shuster and Ranking Member Rahall for bringing this bill to the floor today.

Mr. Speaker, more than 700,000 jobs and 6,000 road and bridge projects could be in jeopardy if payments from the Federal highway trust fund are delayed. I rise today in support of the Highway and Transportation Funding Act, which would prevent this catastrophic scenario.

In my home State of West Virginia, more than 200 projects are currently receiving Federal funding. If we fail to act now, we risk layoffs at the height of the summer construction season. Inaction would cripple the efforts of our State highway department to maintain our roads and bridges after a particularly harsh winter and to build new projects like U.S. Route 35, Corridor H, and the King Coal Highway in West Virginia.

American motorists, construction workers, and small businesses deserve certainty that the Federal Government will continue to invest in our Nation's infrastructure. Today's bill provides that certainty for the remainder of this construction season, but I wait, as most of us do, to complete the work on the longer term bill. I ask my colleagues to join me in passing the Highway and Transportation Funding Act.

3:32 PM EDT

Shelley Moore Capito, R-WV 2nd

Mrs. CAPITO. I want to thank Chairman Shuster and Ranking Member Rahall for bringing this bill to the floor today.

Mr. Speaker, more than 700,000 jobs and 6,000 road and bridge projects could be in jeopardy if payments from the Federal highway trust fund are delayed. I rise today in support of the Highway and Transportation Funding Act, which would prevent this catastrophic scenario.

In my home State of West Virginia, more than 200 projects are currently receiving Federal funding. If we fail to act now, we risk layoffs at the height of the summer construction season. Inaction would cripple the efforts of our State highway department to maintain our roads and bridges after a particularly harsh winter and to build new projects like U.S. Route 35, Corridor H, and the King Coal Highway in West Virginia.

American motorists, construction workers, and small businesses deserve certainty that the Federal Government will continue to invest in our Nation's infrastructure. Today's bill provides that certainty for the remainder of this construction season, but I wait, as most of us do, to complete the work on the longer term bill. I ask my colleagues to join me in passing the Highway and Transportation Funding Act.

3:34 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Those were the good old days, I tell my friend Mr. Rahall, when I got an unlimited 1 minute.

Mr. Speaker, there is some good news. The good news is this committee is chaired by someone who wants to invest in America, grow jobs, and expand our economy. I speak of my friend Bill Shuster, and I thank him for that. The other good news is that our ranking Democrat, NICK JOE RAHALL, has a history of making sure that America invests in its infrastructure.

The bad news is that this bill does not give what Mrs. Capito suggested it gives, and that is certainty. It gives a temporary, inadequate response to what is a long-term problem. I won't ask him the question, but I believe that Mr. Shuster absolutely agrees with me. We ought to find a fiscally sustainable funding source for our infrastructure and highway system.

Mr. Speaker, a well-maintained highway structure supports the growth of our economy and the creation of good jobs. That is why I have been advocating for a long-term, sustainable fix that makes investments in our roads and bridges and provides the certainty that needed repairs will be completed. I am for a big deal, not just for certainty in infrastructure but for certainty in the investment in our economy. I will continue to advocate that.

This bill, unfortunately, does not do that. It is better than doing nothing, but it does not do what we need to do. In fact, by implementing a short-term fix only until May, this bill promotes uncertainty for construction firms and other businesses that rely on projects paid for by the highway trust fund, which support American jobs. It also puts Congress in the position of having to deal with this issue next May, as next year's summer construction season is about to begin, without any certainty

of what we will do.

Democrats would prefer to work with Republicans to pass a long-term fix now or, if we cannot do that, to reauthorize it for a few months so that we can return to this issue after the November elections and pass a long-term fix, but we cannot take the risk of allowing this fund to run dry this summer.

The highway trust fund supports the infrastructure improvements that enable manufacturers to move their products to market faster and help attract businesses and jobs from overseas. It helps us to Make It In America--manufacture it, grow it, sell it here and around the world. If we allow it to go broke, according to the Department of Transportation, our economy could lose as many as 700,000 jobs.

This bill, I think, will get some significant support from our side of the aisle but not because it is our choice, not because it is the right way to go. In my view, as I said, I don't want to hurt him with his party or with anybody outside of this Chamber, but I think Mr. Shuster agrees that we need a long-term solution. I urge my colleagues to work together in a bipartisan fashion to get a long-term, confidence-building resolution of this stop-and-jerk, or go-and-jerk, funding process

that we are adopting.

3:34 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Those were the good old days, I tell my friend Mr. Rahall, when I got an unlimited 1 minute.

Mr. Speaker, there is some good news. The good news is this committee is chaired by someone who wants to invest in America, grow jobs, and expand our economy. I speak of my friend Bill Shuster, and I thank him for that. The other good news is that our ranking Democrat, NICK JOE RAHALL, has a history of making sure that America invests in its infrastructure.

The bad news is that this bill does not give what Mrs. Capito suggested it gives, and that is certainty. It gives a temporary, inadequate response to what is a long-term problem. I won't ask him the question, but I believe that Mr. Shuster absolutely agrees with me. We ought to find a fiscally sustainable funding source for our infrastructure and highway system.

Mr. Speaker, a well-maintained highway structure supports the growth of our economy and the creation of good jobs. That is why I have been advocating for a long-term, sustainable fix that makes investments in our roads and bridges and provides the certainty that needed repairs will be completed. I am for a big deal, not just for certainty in infrastructure but for certainty in the investment in our economy. I will continue to advocate that.

This bill, unfortunately, does not do that. It is better than doing nothing, but it does not do what we need to do. In fact, by implementing a short-term fix only until May, this bill promotes uncertainty for construction firms and other businesses that rely on projects paid for by the highway trust fund, which support American jobs. It also puts Congress in the position of having to deal with this issue next May, as next year's summer construction season is about to begin, without any certainty

of what we will do.

Democrats would prefer to work with Republicans to pass a long-term fix now or, if we cannot do that, to reauthorize it for a few months so that we can return to this issue after the November elections and pass a long-term fix, but we cannot take the risk of allowing this fund to run dry this summer.

The highway trust fund supports the infrastructure improvements that enable manufacturers to move their products to market faster and help attract businesses and jobs from overseas. It helps us to Make It In America--manufacture it, grow it, sell it here and around the world. If we allow it to go broke, according to the Department of Transportation, our economy could lose as many as 700,000 jobs.

This bill, I think, will get some significant support from our side of the aisle but not because it is our choice, not because it is the right way to go. In my view, as I said, I don't want to hurt him with his party or with anybody outside of this Chamber, but I think Mr. Shuster agrees that we need a long-term solution. I urge my colleagues to work together in a bipartisan fashion to get a long-term, confidence-building resolution of this stop-and-jerk, or go-and-jerk, funding process

that we are adopting.

3:38 PM EDT

Bill Shuster, R-PA 9th

Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, I do agree with the distinguished minority whip that we need a long-term solution to the trust fund and a long-term bill to provide certainty to this Nation when it comes to our transportation system.

With that, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Rodney Davis), one of the newest members of the committee but one of the hardest-working members of the committee.

3:38 PM EDT

Bill Shuster, R-PA 9th

Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, I do agree with the distinguished minority whip that we need a long-term solution to the trust fund and a long-term bill to provide certainty to this Nation when it comes to our transportation system.

With that, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Rodney Davis), one of the newest members of the committee but one of the hardest-working members of the committee.

3:38 PM EDT

Rodney L. Davis, R-IL 13th

Mr. RODNEY DAVIS of Illinois. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Speaker, supporting H.R. 5021 means protecting hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout this great country. More specifically, in Illinois, it means saving nearly 30,000 jobs and 4,000 construction projects that are already underway. Supporting this bill means improving our crumbling roads and bridges--a constitutional responsibility of this body's. Supporting H.R. 5021 means governing responsibly instead of creating yet another manufactured crisis that would add even more uncertainty and

instability to a still struggling economy.

By extending this highway trust fund, which is not my first choice--if we extend this bill and these programs through May, we can continue working on that long-term highway bill that both sides of the aisle stand here and say that we need, and we can create jobs and keep up with our 21st century transportation needs. The highway trust fund has fallen short for many years, and we need to come up with long-term solutions.

I look forward to working with my colleagues from the other side of the aisle and with Chairman Shuster and his continued leadership.

3:38 PM EDT

Rodney L. Davis, R-IL 13th

Mr. RODNEY DAVIS of Illinois. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Speaker, supporting H.R. 5021 means protecting hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout this great country. More specifically, in Illinois, it means saving nearly 30,000 jobs and 4,000 construction projects that are already underway. Supporting this bill means improving our crumbling roads and bridges--a constitutional responsibility of this body's. Supporting H.R. 5021 means governing responsibly instead of creating yet another manufactured crisis that would add even more uncertainty and

instability to a still struggling economy.

By extending this highway trust fund, which is not my first choice--if we extend this bill and these programs through May, we can continue working on that long-term highway bill that both sides of the aisle stand here and say that we need, and we can create jobs and keep up with our 21st century transportation needs. The highway trust fund has fallen short for many years, and we need to come up with long-term solutions.

I look forward to working with my colleagues from the other side of the aisle and with Chairman Shuster and his continued leadership.

3:40 PM EDT

John Mica, R-FL 7th

Mr. MICA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and the distinguished ranking member. Thank you for your hard work in trying right now to put a Band-Aid on our bleeding transportation funding. Thank you for trying to get the transportation cart out of the ditch.

Mr. Speaker, we have reached the eleventh hour, and soon projects will be closing down across the country. It is unfortunate that we are at this juncture on the road to funding transportation responsibly. We had a chance for a 5-year bill, and we did not have the leadership, I believe, from the White House. In fact, President Obama was AWOL during that entire process. Now, today, we see the President has been at a bridge, and he is going to be at another site. He is out at a research thing, talking

about transportation funding.

Where was the President when Mr. Oberstar--the distinguished gentleman who recently passed away and who was chair of the committee--offered a bill, and he came and cut his legs out from underneath the Democrat chairman? We would have had a longer term, fully funded bill. If it is to secure our borders, where has he been? He says he doesn't do photo ops, but he is doing them now, and he will do them on transportation. He doesn't need to be at the bridge. He needs to be here, working with these

distinguished Members of Congress for a long-term solution. He was absent at the border, and he is absent as we need to secure our Nation's infrastructure. This is not acceptable.

I support this measure because it is an extension of what we did. It doesn't have deficit spending. It is responsible for paying for it, and it doesn't have earmarks. The last bill had 6,300 earmarks--not this bill. I support the measure.

3:40 PM EDT

John Mica, R-FL 7th

Mr. MICA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and the distinguished ranking member. Thank you for your hard work in trying right now to put a Band-Aid on our bleeding transportation funding. Thank you for trying to get the transportation cart out of the ditch.

Mr. Speaker, we have reached the eleventh hour, and soon projects will be closing down across the country. It is unfortunate that we are at this juncture on the road to funding transportation responsibly. We had a chance for a 5-year bill, and we did not have the leadership, I believe, from the White House. In fact, President Obama was AWOL during that entire process. Now, today, we see the President has been at a bridge, and he is going to be at another site. He is out at a research thing, talking

about transportation funding.

Where was the President when Mr. Oberstar--the distinguished gentleman who recently passed away and who was chair of the committee--offered a bill, and he came and cut his legs out from underneath the Democrat chairman? We would have had a longer term, fully funded bill. If it is to secure our borders, where has he been? He says he doesn't do photo ops, but he is doing them now, and he will do them on transportation. He doesn't need to be at the bridge. He needs to be here, working with these

distinguished Members of Congress for a long-term solution. He was absent at the border, and he is absent as we need to secure our Nation's infrastructure. This is not acceptable.

I support this measure because it is an extension of what we did. It doesn't have deficit spending. It is responsible for paying for it, and it doesn't have earmarks. The last bill had 6,300 earmarks--not this bill. I support the measure.

3:43 PM EDT

Nick Rahall II, D-WV 3rd

Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, in closing, much has been said today in dislike of this temporary fix, and I could not agree more. It is not my preference. We all want to address this in a long-term, robust manner. That is also the opinion of the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, who say that further delay will only maintain the status quo in keeping workers off the job, undercutting long-term planning and hindering the country in advancing to a 21st century transportation system.

There are very similar views, like views, expressed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce when they say in a letter to Members of Congress that, in the Chamber's view, the longer the pass, the easier it will be for Congress to kick the can down the road and avoid the tough question of how we will maintain Federal investment in highway public transportation and highway safety.

I hope we come back before next May and address this issue.

I yield back the balance of my time.

3:43 PM EDT

Nick Rahall II, D-WV 3rd

Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, in closing, much has been said today in dislike of this temporary fix, and I could not agree more. It is not my preference. We all want to address this in a long-term, robust manner. That is also the opinion of the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, who say that further delay will only maintain the status quo in keeping workers off the job, undercutting long-term planning and hindering the country in advancing to a 21st century transportation system.

There are very similar views, like views, expressed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce when they say in a letter to Members of Congress that, in the Chamber's view, the longer the pass, the easier it will be for Congress to kick the can down the road and avoid the tough question of how we will maintain Federal investment in highway public transportation and highway safety.

I hope we come back before next May and address this issue.

I yield back the balance of my time.

3:44 PM EDT

Bill Shuster, R-PA 9th

Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.

First, I want to start off by expressing my condolences to a former chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. I guess, back then, it was Public Works and Transportation. Chairman Bob Roe, who chaired the committee in the eighties, passed away this morning, at 9:30, at the age of 90. I just want to say that my thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.

[Time: 15:45]

I want to start in closing by thanking Chairman Camp and Ranking Member Levin and the entire Ways and Means Committee for passing out, on a voice vote, H.R. 5021.

I would like to reiterate that H.R. 5021 is a clean extension of the surface transportation programs that continues the MAP-21 reforms. This extension is necessary to provide much-needed certainty and stability for States while we continue to work on addressing a long-term funding solution and a long-term reauthorization bill.

I am committed to that. I know that the Transportation Committee is going to work diligently with the Ways and Means Committee on funding a long-term solution to the funding and also to passing a strong long-term reauthorization bill.

Mr. Speaker, I encourage all Members to support this bill, and I yield back the balance of my time.

3:44 PM EDT

Bill Shuster, R-PA 9th

Mr. SHUSTER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.

First, I want to start off by expressing my condolences to a former chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. I guess, back then, it was Public Works and Transportation. Chairman Bob Roe, who chaired the committee in the eighties, passed away this morning, at 9:30, at the age of 90. I just want to say that my thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.

[Time: 15:45]

I want to start in closing by thanking Chairman Camp and Ranking Member Levin and the entire Ways and Means Committee for passing out, on a voice vote, H.R. 5021.

I would like to reiterate that H.R. 5021 is a clean extension of the surface transportation programs that continues the MAP-21 reforms. This extension is necessary to provide much-needed certainty and stability for States while we continue to work on addressing a long-term funding solution and a long-term reauthorization bill.

I am committed to that. I know that the Transportation Committee is going to work diligently with the Ways and Means Committee on funding a long-term solution to the funding and also to passing a strong long-term reauthorization bill.

Mr. Speaker, I encourage all Members to support this bill, and I yield back the balance of my time.

3:46 PM EDT

Dave Camp, R-MI 4th

Mr. CAMP. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

At the end of this month, States across the country will be forced to put road construction on hold if Congress cannot address the highway trust fund. At risk are hundreds of thousands of jobs in the construction industry.

A strong infrastructure is central to commerce, and at a time when millions of Americans are packing their bags to take a vacation or just traveling to work, we must ensure that projects can be completed so that the roads, bridges, and highways they travel on are modernized and safe.

The bill before us today, H.R. 5021, will provide enough funding to get us through May 21, 2015, giving States the ability to complete projects.

This bill is the only package with all provisions having a proven history of getting big bipartisan votes in both the House and the Senate. The three provisions--pension smoothing, custom user fees, and leaking underground storage tanks--have all been used previously in bills that received strong bipartisan votes.

Pension smoothing and LUST were included in the last bipartisan highway trust fund legislation. These are policies everyone is familiar with. They are policies that will provide the funding we need, and they are the only policies that will pass both the House and Senate in time to fund our highways after the end of this month.

A long-term solution would be my preference, and an important feature of my tax reform discussion draft would provide enough revenue to maintain the solvency of the highway trust fund for 8 years.

In the meantime, I hope all Members of Congress can work on a longer-term solution by the end of May next year. This won't be an easy task, so it is important that Congress has time to have a deliberative, open debate about bipartisan solutions, rather than trying to hit Americans who are already paying more for gas with a gas tax hike.

It is time to act now. State transportation departments have already started delaying or stopping certain highway projects to prepare for the fact that funding may fall short. Americans across the country deserve to see less gridlock on the roads and from their elected representatives.

These policies are straightforward and have a history of bipartisan, bicameral support.

I am encouraged that the White House issued their support for the House highway bill, so we have an opportunity to solve this problem today.

Mr. Speaker, I will enter into the Record the administration's statement of support.

Statement of Administration Policy

H.R. 5021--HIGHWAY AND TRANSPORTATION FUNDING ACT OF 2014 (Rep. Camp, R-Michigan, and Rep. Shuster, R-Pennsylvania, July 14, 2014)

With surface transportation funding running out and hundreds of thousands of jobs [Page: H6254]

at risk later this summer, the Administration supports House passage of H.R. 5021. This legislation would provide for continuity of funding for the Highway Trust Fund during the height of the summer construction season and keep Americans at work repairing the Nation's crumbling roads, bridges, and transit systems.

However, this legislation only provides a short-term fix to the Highway Trust Fund. It does not address the continued need to pass a long-term authorization bill that creates jobs and provides certainty for cities, States, and businesses. Congress should work to pass a long-term authorization bill well before the expiration date set forth in H.R. 5021. The President has been very clear that increasing investment in the Nation's infrastructure is a top priority. That is why the President laid

out a vision for a 21st century surface transportation infrastructure, the GROW AMERICA Act, which would streamline project approval processes and implement innovative transportation policies that will make better use of taxpayer dollars while supporting millions of jobs

and positioning the Nation's economy for lasting growth. That proposal is fully paid for through existing revenues and by reforming business taxes to help create jobs and spur investment while eliminating loopholes that reward companies for moving profits overseas.

The Administration is focused every day on what can be done to expand opportunity for every American. In today's economy, that means building a first-class infrastructure that attracts first-class jobs and takes American businesses' goods all across the world.

3:46 PM EDT

Dave Camp, R-MI 4th

Mr. CAMP. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

At the end of this month, States across the country will be forced to put road construction on hold if Congress cannot address the highway trust fund. At risk are hundreds of thousands of jobs in the construction industry.

A strong infrastructure is central to commerce, and at a time when millions of Americans are packing their bags to take a vacation or just traveling to work, we must ensure that projects can be completed so that the roads, bridges, and highways they travel on are modernized and safe.

The bill before us today, H.R. 5021, will provide enough funding to get us through May 21, 2015, giving States the ability to complete projects.

This bill is the only package with all provisions having a proven history of getting big bipartisan votes in both the House and the Senate. The three provisions--pension smoothing, custom user fees, and leaking underground storage tanks--have all been used previously in bills that received strong bipartisan votes.

Pension smoothing and LUST were included in the last bipartisan highway trust fund legislation. These are policies everyone is familiar with. They are policies that will provide the funding we need, and they are the only policies that will pass both the House and Senate in time to fund our highways after the end of this month.

A long-term solution would be my preference, and an important feature of my tax reform discussion draft would provide enough revenue to maintain the solvency of the highway trust fund for 8 years.

In the meantime, I hope all Members of Congress can work on a longer-term solution by the end of May next year. This won't be an easy task, so it is important that Congress has time to have a deliberative, open debate about bipartisan solutions, rather than trying to hit Americans who are already paying more for gas with a gas tax hike.

It is time to act now. State transportation departments have already started delaying or stopping certain highway projects to prepare for the fact that funding may fall short. Americans across the country deserve to see less gridlock on the roads and from their elected representatives.

These policies are straightforward and have a history of bipartisan, bicameral support.

I am encouraged that the White House issued their support for the House highway bill, so we have an opportunity to solve this problem today.

Mr. Speaker, I will enter into the Record the administration's statement of support.

Statement of Administration Policy

H.R. 5021--HIGHWAY AND TRANSPORTATION FUNDING ACT OF 2014 (Rep. Camp, R-Michigan, and Rep. Shuster, R-Pennsylvania, July 14, 2014)

With surface transportation funding running out and hundreds of thousands of jobs [Page: H6254]

at risk later this summer, the Administration supports House passage of H.R. 5021. This legislation would provide for continuity of funding for the Highway Trust Fund during the height of the summer construction season and keep Americans at work repairing the Nation's crumbling roads, bridges, and transit systems.

However, this legislation only provides a short-term fix to the Highway Trust Fund. It does not address the continued need to pass a long-term authorization bill that creates jobs and provides certainty for cities, States, and businesses. Congress should work to pass a long-term authorization bill well before the expiration date set forth in H.R. 5021. The President has been very clear that increasing investment in the Nation's infrastructure is a top priority. That is why the President laid

out a vision for a 21st century surface transportation infrastructure, the GROW AMERICA Act, which would streamline project approval processes and implement innovative transportation policies that will make better use of taxpayer dollars while supporting millions of jobs

and positioning the Nation's economy for lasting growth. That proposal is fully paid for through existing revenues and by reforming business taxes to help create jobs and spur investment while eliminating loopholes that reward companies for moving profits overseas.

The Administration is focused every day on what can be done to expand opportunity for every American. In today's economy, that means building a first-class infrastructure that attracts first-class jobs and takes American businesses' goods all across the world.

3:46 PM EDT

Dave Camp, R-MI 4th

Mr. CAMP. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

At the end of this month, States across the country will be forced to put road construction on hold if Congress cannot address the highway trust fund. At risk are hundreds of thousands of jobs in the construction industry.

A strong infrastructure is central to commerce, and at a time when millions of Americans are packing their bags to take a vacation or just traveling to work, we must ensure that projects can be completed so that the roads, bridges, and highways they travel on are modernized and safe.

The bill before us today, H.R. 5021, will provide enough funding to get us through May 21, 2015, giving States the ability to complete projects.

This bill is the only package with all provisions having a proven history of getting big bipartisan votes in both the House and the Senate. The three provisions--pension smoothing, custom user fees, and leaking underground storage tanks--have all been used previously in bills that received strong bipartisan votes.

Pension smoothing and LUST were included in the last bipartisan highway trust fund legislation. These are policies everyone is familiar with. They are policies that will provide the funding we need, and they are the only policies that will pass both the House and Senate in time to fund our highways after the end of this month.

A long-term solution would be my preference, and an important feature of my tax reform discussion draft would provide enough revenue to maintain the solvency of the highway trust fund for 8 years.

In the meantime, I hope all Members of Congress can work on a longer-term solution by the end of May next year. This won't be an easy task, so it is important that Congress has time to have a deliberative, open debate about bipartisan solutions, rather than trying to hit Americans who are already paying more for gas with a gas tax hike.

It is time to act now. State transportation departments have already started delaying or stopping certain highway projects to prepare for the fact that funding may fall short. Americans across the country deserve to see less gridlock on the roads and from their elected representatives.

These policies are straightforward and have a history of bipartisan, bicameral support.

I am encouraged that the White House issued their support for the House highway bill, so we have an opportunity to solve this problem today.

Mr. Speaker, I will enter into the Record the administration's statement of support.

Statement of Administration Policy

H.R. 5021--HIGHWAY AND TRANSPORTATION FUNDING ACT OF 2014 (Rep. Camp, R-Michigan, and Rep. Shuster, R-Pennsylvania, July 14, 2014)

With surface transportation funding running out and hundreds of thousands of jobs [Page: H6254]

at risk later this summer, the Administration supports House passage of H.R. 5021. This legislation would provide for continuity of funding for the Highway Trust Fund during the height of the summer construction season and keep Americans at work repairing the Nation's crumbling roads, bridges, and transit systems.

However, this legislation only provides a short-term fix to the Highway Trust Fund. It does not address the continued need to pass a long-term authorization bill that creates jobs and provides certainty for cities, States, and businesses. Congress should work to pass a long-term authorization bill well before the expiration date set forth in H.R. 5021. The President has been very clear that increasing investment in the Nation's infrastructure is a top priority. That is why the President laid

out a vision for a 21st century surface transportation infrastructure, the GROW AMERICA Act, which would streamline project approval processes and implement innovative transportation policies that will make better use of taxpayer dollars while supporting millions of jobs

and positioning the Nation's economy for lasting growth. That proposal is fully paid for through existing revenues and by reforming business taxes to help create jobs and spur investment while eliminating loopholes that reward companies for moving profits overseas.

The Administration is focused every day on what can be done to expand opportunity for every American. In today's economy, that means building a first-class infrastructure that attracts first-class jobs and takes American businesses' goods all across the world.

3:48 PM EDT

Dave Camp, R-MI 4th

Mr. CAMP. We also have strong industry support in a letter to Congress from 62 organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Road and Transportation Builders Association, the American Trucking Association, and the National Association of Manufacturers, which stated, ``A long-term Federal commitment to prioritize and invest in our aging infrastructure and safety needs is essential to achieve this goal. Keeping the highway trust fund solvent is the first step.''

Mr. Speaker, I will enter their statement of support into the Record as well.

July 14, 2014

TO MEMBERS OF THE U.S. CONGRESS:

The undersigned organizations representing every sector of the economy urge the House of Representatives and Senate to pass bipartisan legislation that will stabilize the Highway Trust Fund and prevent a shutdown of federal highway and public transportation investments across the country.

Our transportation infrastructure network is the foundation on which the nation's economy functions. American manufacturers, industries and businesses depend on this complex system to move people, products and services every day of the year.

As the World Economic Forum (WEF) noted in its 2013-2014 Global Competitiveness Report, infrastructure connects regions, integrates markets and provides access to markets and services. While this latest report places the U.S. economy fifth in its ``Global Competitiveness Index,'' America's infrastructure network now ranks 15th globally.

Shortchanging the Highway Trust Fund is not the path to future economic growth, jobs and increased competitiveness. The possibility of a deficient Highway Trust Fund that shutters 100,000 construction projects that support 700,000 jobs and puts all new highway, bridge and public transportation investments on hold will further harm an already fragile economy.

The U.S. economy requires a surface transportation infrastructure network that can keep pace with growing demands. A long-term federal commitment to prioritize and invest in our aging infrastructure and safety needs is essential to achieve this goal. Keeping the Highway Trust Fund solvent is the first step.

We urge Congress to avoid the immediate transportation cliff and improve the long-term fiscal condition of the Highway Trust Fund during 2014.

Sincerely,

National Association of Manufacturers, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Road & Transportation Builders Association, Associated General Contractors of America, National Retail Federation, American Trucking Association, U.S. Travel Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, NAACP, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, International Union of Operating Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, Laborers International Union of

North America, National Association of Development Organizations, NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, American Public Transportation Association, Airports Council International--North America, Transportation for America, Building America's Future.

Smart Growth America, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, Governors Highway Safety Association, American Highway Users Alliance, American Public Works Association, American Council of Engineering Companies, National Stone Sand and Gravel Association, Transportation Intermediaries Association, The American Society of Landscape Architects, American Iron and Steel Institute, National Utility Contractors Association, American Concrete Pipe

Association, American Concrete Pavement Association, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, National Asphalt Pavement Association, Truckload Carriers Association, American Association of Airport Executives, International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association, Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America).

Safe Routes to School National Partnership, League of American Bicyclists, Alliance for Biking & Walking, Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, National Tank Truck Carriers, American Moving & Storage Association, NATSO, representing America's Truckstops and Travel Plazas, National Recreation and Park Association, Metropolitan Planning Council (Chicago, IL), American Traffic Safety Services Association, SMART--Transportation Division, Safe Kids Worldwide, PeopleForBikes--Business

Network, PolicyLink, International Warehouse Logistics Association, The National Industrial Transportation League, The Coalition for America's Gateways and Trade Corridors, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Portland Cement Association, Associated Equipment Distributors, National Electrical Contractors Association National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).

3:48 PM EDT

Dave Camp, R-MI 4th

Mr. CAMP. We also have strong industry support in a letter to Congress from 62 organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Road and Transportation Builders Association, the American Trucking Association, and the National Association of Manufacturers, which stated, ``A long-term Federal commitment to prioritize and invest in our aging infrastructure and safety needs is essential to achieve this goal. Keeping the highway trust fund solvent is the first step.''

Mr. Speaker, I will enter their statement of support into the Record as well.

July 14, 2014

TO MEMBERS OF THE U.S. CONGRESS:

The undersigned organizations representing every sector of the economy urge the House of Representatives and Senate to pass bipartisan legislation that will stabilize the Highway Trust Fund and prevent a shutdown of federal highway and public transportation investments across the country.

Our transportation infrastructure network is the foundation on which the nation's economy functions. American manufacturers, industries and businesses depend on this complex system to move people, products and services every day of the year.

As the World Economic Forum (WEF) noted in its 2013-2014 Global Competitiveness Report, infrastructure connects regions, integrates markets and provides access to markets and services. While this latest report places the U.S. economy fifth in its ``Global Competitiveness Index,'' America's infrastructure network now ranks 15th globally.

Shortchanging the Highway Trust Fund is not the path to future economic growth, jobs and increased competitiveness. The possibility of a deficient Highway Trust Fund that shutters 100,000 construction projects that support 700,000 jobs and puts all new highway, bridge and public transportation investments on hold will further harm an already fragile economy.

The U.S. economy requires a surface transportation infrastructure network that can keep pace with growing demands. A long-term federal commitment to prioritize and invest in our aging infrastructure and safety needs is essential to achieve this goal. Keeping the Highway Trust Fund solvent is the first step.

We urge Congress to avoid the immediate transportation cliff and improve the long-term fiscal condition of the Highway Trust Fund during 2014.

Sincerely,

National Association of Manufacturers, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Road & Transportation Builders Association, Associated General Contractors of America, National Retail Federation, American Trucking Association, U.S. Travel Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, NAACP, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, International Union of Operating Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, Laborers International Union of

North America, National Association of Development Organizations, NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, American Public Transportation Association, Airports Council International--North America, Transportation for America, Building America's Future.

Smart Growth America, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, Governors Highway Safety Association, American Highway Users Alliance, American Public Works Association, American Council of Engineering Companies, National Stone Sand and Gravel Association, Transportation Intermediaries Association, The American Society of Landscape Architects, American Iron and Steel Institute, National Utility Contractors Association, American Concrete Pipe

Association, American Concrete Pavement Association, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, National Asphalt Pavement Association, Truckload Carriers Association, American Association of Airport Executives, International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association, Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America).

Safe Routes to School National Partnership, League of American Bicyclists, Alliance for Biking & Walking, Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, National Tank Truck Carriers, American Moving & Storage Association, NATSO, representing America's Truckstops and Travel Plazas, National Recreation and Park Association, Metropolitan Planning Council (Chicago, IL), American Traffic Safety Services Association, SMART--Transportation Division, Safe Kids Worldwide, PeopleForBikes--Business

Network, PolicyLink, International Warehouse Logistics Association, The National Industrial Transportation League, The Coalition for America's Gateways and Trade Corridors, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Portland Cement Association, Associated Equipment Distributors, National Electrical Contractors Association National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).

3:53 PM EDT

Earl Blumenauer, D-OR 3rd

Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume. [Page: H6255]

I am pleased that Congress is finally acting today, not with a looming crisis, but one that is already upon us. This is entirely predictable.

I have been arguing for months that Congress needs to act because the stopgap measure we did last Congress was designed to create precisely this Congress at precisely this time.

Sixty-two groups may have signed on a letter of support, but they prefer us to act meaningfully for long-term funding. They accept this because it is the only alternative to shutting down activities this summer.

My Republican friends are unwilling--not unable--but unwilling to resolve the funding contradictions. Revenues have failed to keep pace with the demands of an aging growing Nation, making no change for 21 years, as our infrastructure ages and falls apart, our Nation continues to grow and transportation patterns change. It is guaranteed that we should change as well.

This Congress has refused to address its responsibilities. The House Ways and Means Committee has not had a single hearing on transportation finance. One of our most important responsibilities, uniquely ours, one that is unlike so many other items we deal with, it is possible to resolve. We haven't had a hearing in the 43 months that the Republicans have been in charge of Congress.

Now, I understand there are conflicts within the Republican Caucus. There are some that appear satisfied with locking us into a slow, steady decline called for in the Republican budget--no new projects until October of 2015 and a 30 percent reduction over the next decade, at exactly the time the Federal partnership should be enhanced, not reduced.

There are others in the Republicans whose answer is to just abandon ship, to give up on the Federal partnership, slash the Federal gas tax, and abandon any hope of a national transportation policy and partnership to help States with projects that are multistate in nature or that need to be done whether economic times are bad.

That would be tragic and wrong to abandon the partnership that has meant so much, but it is part of what is driving some of our Republican Tea Party friends. Just because there may not be a majority in the Republican ranks for either approach does not mean that we should continue to dither.

Because Republicans friends are unwilling or unable to resolve this, we have frozen the Transportation Committee in place. They don't have a bill. They are not going to have a bill unless we resolve what the budget number is: increase, continue the downward slide, or abandon it altogether.

We will be no better off next May to resolve this question. In fact, we will be worse off because we will be in the middle of a Presidential campaign, with a new Congress, maybe new committee lineups.

So as one of the stakeholders told me as we filed out of the hearing room last week, May 2015 is really May 2017 and, I might add, at the earliest.

We should reject this approach to hand off our responsibilities. We should resolve the resource question, and we should commit that this Congress is not going to recess for August vacation, not going to recess to campaign in October, until we have worked to give the American people a transportation bill they need--deserve--to jump-start the economy, create hundreds of thousands of family-wage jobs, and strengthen communities and families across the Nation.

American infrastructure used to be the best in the world and a point of pride bringing Americans together. It is now a source of embarrassment and deep concern as we fall further and further behind global leaders.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

3:53 PM EDT

Earl Blumenauer, D-OR 3rd

Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume. [Page: H6255]

I am pleased that Congress is finally acting today, not with a looming crisis, but one that is already upon us. This is entirely predictable.

I have been arguing for months that Congress needs to act because the stopgap measure we did last Congress was designed to create precisely this Congress at precisely this time.

Sixty-two groups may have signed on a letter of support, but they prefer us to act meaningfully for long-term funding. They accept this because it is the only alternative to shutting down activities this summer.

My Republican friends are unwilling--not unable--but unwilling to resolve the funding contradictions. Revenues have failed to keep pace with the demands of an aging growing Nation, making no change for 21 years, as our infrastructure ages and falls apart, our Nation continues to grow and transportation patterns change. It is guaranteed that we should change as well.

This Congress has refused to address its responsibilities. The House Ways and Means Committee has not had a single hearing on transportation finance. One of our most important responsibilities, uniquely ours, one that is unlike so many other items we deal with, it is possible to resolve. We haven't had a hearing in the 43 months that the Republicans have been in charge of Congress.

Now, I understand there are conflicts within the Republican Caucus. There are some that appear satisfied with locking us into a slow, steady decline called for in the Republican budget--no new projects until October of 2015 and a 30 percent reduction over the next decade, at exactly the time the Federal partnership should be enhanced, not reduced.

There are others in the Republicans whose answer is to just abandon ship, to give up on the Federal partnership, slash the Federal gas tax, and abandon any hope of a national transportation policy and partnership to help States with projects that are multistate in nature or that need to be done whether economic times are bad.

That would be tragic and wrong to abandon the partnership that has meant so much, but it is part of what is driving some of our Republican Tea Party friends. Just because there may not be a majority in the Republican ranks for either approach does not mean that we should continue to dither.

Because Republicans friends are unwilling or unable to resolve this, we have frozen the Transportation Committee in place. They don't have a bill. They are not going to have a bill unless we resolve what the budget number is: increase, continue the downward slide, or abandon it altogether.

We will be no better off next May to resolve this question. In fact, we will be worse off because we will be in the middle of a Presidential campaign, with a new Congress, maybe new committee lineups.

So as one of the stakeholders told me as we filed out of the hearing room last week, May 2015 is really May 2017 and, I might add, at the earliest.

We should reject this approach to hand off our responsibilities. We should resolve the resource question, and we should commit that this Congress is not going to recess for August vacation, not going to recess to campaign in October, until we have worked to give the American people a transportation bill they need--deserve--to jump-start the economy, create hundreds of thousands of family-wage jobs, and strengthen communities and families across the Nation.

American infrastructure used to be the best in the world and a point of pride bringing Americans together. It is now a source of embarrassment and deep concern as we fall further and further behind global leaders.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

3:57 PM EDT

Dave Camp, R-MI 4th

Mr. CAMP. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

In addition to the Statement of Administration Policy in support of the legislation which has been entered into the record, as well as a letter from 62 organizations in support of the legislation--including the American Trucking Association, American Farm Bureau, National Association of Manufacturers--I also have a letter from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is the world's largest business federation, which represents more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, is key

voting this legislation and has written a separate letter in support of this bill.

I would enter into the Record the Chamber of Commerce letter regarding H.R. 5021.

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

Washington, DC, July 15, 2014.

TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations, and dedicated to promoting, protecting and defending America's free enterprise system, strongly urges you to vote for H.R. 5021, the ``Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014,'' which would extend

federal surface transportation programs and provide for a short-term solution for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) shortfall. By the end of July, Congress must send to the President a measure that generates the necessary cash flows to support continued outlays from the HTF and affords much-needed continuity in the short-term for economic development, international trade, and job creation.

Then, it is imperative to immediately turn to identifying and advancing a bipartisan, sustainable, and long-term solution to the HTF that can achieve bicameral success. The Chamber urges leaders of both parties to put politics aside and come together on a shared solution to the HTF's structural deficiencies. The user-supported HTF has been a bipartisan compromise from its beginning. It is the offspring of a Democratic-controlled House and Senate in the 84th Congress and the Republican Eisenhower

Administration. For 58 years the HTF has served America's transportation infrastructure well and helped to create the world's largest economy; however, its long-term solvency has been compromised by a lack of action in both the legislative and executive branches.

The Chamber recognizes action on a short-term HTF fix as an important step and looks forward to working with you in the months ahead on a long-lasting remedy for the Highway Trust Fund. The Chamber urges the House to pass H.R. 5021, and may include votes on, or in relation to, this bill in our annual How They Voted Scorecard.

Sincerely,

R. BRUCE JOSTEN.

3:57 PM EDT

Dave Camp, R-MI 4th

Mr. CAMP. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

In addition to the Statement of Administration Policy in support of the legislation which has been entered into the record, as well as a letter from 62 organizations in support of the legislation--including the American Trucking Association, American Farm Bureau, National Association of Manufacturers--I also have a letter from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is the world's largest business federation, which represents more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, is key

voting this legislation and has written a separate letter in support of this bill.

I would enter into the Record the Chamber of Commerce letter regarding H.R. 5021.

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

Washington, DC, July 15, 2014.

TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations, and dedicated to promoting, protecting and defending America's free enterprise system, strongly urges you to vote for H.R. 5021, the ``Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014,'' which would extend

federal surface transportation programs and provide for a short-term solution for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) shortfall. By the end of July, Congress must send to the President a measure that generates the necessary cash flows to support continued outlays from the HTF and affords much-needed continuity in the short-term for economic development, international trade, and job creation.

Then, it is imperative to immediately turn to identifying and advancing a bipartisan, sustainable, and long-term solution to the HTF that can achieve bicameral success. The Chamber urges leaders of both parties to put politics aside and come together on a shared solution to the HTF's structural deficiencies. The user-supported HTF has been a bipartisan compromise from its beginning. It is the offspring of a Democratic-controlled House and Senate in the 84th Congress and the Republican Eisenhower

Administration. For 58 years the HTF has served America's transportation infrastructure well and helped to create the world's largest economy; however, its long-term solvency has been compromised by a lack of action in both the legislative and executive branches.

The Chamber recognizes action on a short-term HTF fix as an important step and looks forward to working with you in the months ahead on a long-lasting remedy for the Highway Trust Fund. The Chamber urges the House to pass H.R. 5021, and may include votes on, or in relation to, this bill in our annual How They Voted Scorecard.

Sincerely,

R. BRUCE JOSTEN.

3:57 PM EDT

Dave Camp, R-MI 4th

Mr. CAMP. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

In addition to the Statement of Administration Policy in support of the legislation which has been entered into the record, as well as a letter from 62 organizations in support of the legislation--including the American Trucking Association, American Farm Bureau, National Association of Manufacturers--I also have a letter from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is the world's largest business federation, which represents more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, is key

voting this legislation and has written a separate letter in support of this bill.

I would enter into the Record the Chamber of Commerce letter regarding H.R. 5021.

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

Washington, DC, July 15, 2014.

TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations, and dedicated to promoting, protecting and defending America's free enterprise system, strongly urges you to vote for H.R. 5021, the ``Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014,'' which would extend

federal surface transportation programs and provide for a short-term solution for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) shortfall. By the end of July, Congress must send to the President a measure that generates the necessary cash flows to support continued outlays from the HTF and affords much-needed continuity in the short-term for economic development, international trade, and job creation.

Then, it is imperative to immediately turn to identifying and advancing a bipartisan, sustainable, and long-term solution to the HTF that can achieve bicameral success. The Chamber urges leaders of both parties to put politics aside and come together on a shared solution to the HTF's structural deficiencies. The user-supported HTF has been a bipartisan compromise from its beginning. It is the offspring of a Democratic-controlled House and Senate in the 84th Congress and the Republican Eisenhower

Administration. For 58 years the HTF has served America's transportation infrastructure well and helped to create the world's largest economy; however, its long-term solvency has been compromised by a lack of action in both the legislative and executive branches.

The Chamber recognizes action on a short-term HTF fix as an important step and looks forward to working with you in the months ahead on a long-lasting remedy for the Highway Trust Fund. The Chamber urges the House to pass H.R. 5021, and may include votes on, or in relation to, this bill in our annual How They Voted Scorecard.

Sincerely,

R. BRUCE JOSTEN.

3:58 PM EDT

Bill Pascrell Jr., D-NJ 9th

Mr. PASCRELL. I thank the ranking member, Mr. Speaker, and I want to thank our chairman, our ranking member who was just here a few moments ago.

It is ironic, as I said earlier today, when we take up the transportation and infrastructure legislation that, just a few hours ago, the champion of transportation and infrastructure passed away. He was the chairman of the Transportation Committee. At that time, it was the Public Works Committee. He left the Congress in 1992, so it is ironic.

Mr. Chairman, through the Speaker, you have to understand the frustration that exists on both sides of the aisle on this legislation. We know what is needed. We know what is going to happen by the end of August. Many projects throughout the United States of America will just shut down or begin to shut down. Bills will not be paid. That is not good. That is not acceptable.

On the other hand, when the dust settles, the very committee that we represent, where everything goes through--the Ways and Means Committee--will have voted for close to $1 trillion when the dust settles, unpaid for, permanent tax cuts, many of which are never meant to be permanent. Check the Record.

So we can do this and add $1 trillion to the deficit, and we can't come up with a bipartisan 5-year or 6-year transportation plan for our roads?

Let's wait until the bridges fall down. Then we will do something about it.

[Time: 16:00]

3:58 PM EDT

Bill Pascrell Jr., D-NJ 9th

Mr. PASCRELL. I thank the ranking member, Mr. Speaker, and I want to thank our chairman, our ranking member who was just here a few moments ago.

It is ironic, as I said earlier today, when we take up the transportation and infrastructure legislation that, just a few hours ago, the champion of transportation and infrastructure passed away. He was the chairman of the Transportation Committee. At that time, it was the Public Works Committee. He left the Congress in 1992, so it is ironic.

Mr. Chairman, through the Speaker, you have to understand the frustration that exists on both sides of the aisle on this legislation. We know what is needed. We know what is going to happen by the end of August. Many projects throughout the United States of America will just shut down or begin to shut down. Bills will not be paid. That is not good. That is not acceptable.

On the other hand, when the dust settles, the very committee that we represent, where everything goes through--the Ways and Means Committee--will have voted for close to $1 trillion when the dust settles, unpaid for, permanent tax cuts, many of which are never meant to be permanent. Check the Record.

So we can do this and add $1 trillion to the deficit, and we can't come up with a bipartisan 5-year or 6-year transportation plan for our roads?

Let's wait until the bridges fall down. Then we will do something about it.

[Time: 16:00]

3:58 PM EDT

Bill Pascrell Jr., D-NJ 9th

Mr. PASCRELL. I thank the ranking member, Mr. Speaker, and I want to thank our chairman, our ranking member who was just here a few moments ago.

It is ironic, as I said earlier today, when we take up the transportation and infrastructure legislation that, just a few hours ago, the champion of transportation and infrastructure passed away. He was the chairman of the Transportation Committee. At that time, it was the Public Works Committee. He left the Congress in 1992, so it is ironic.

Mr. Chairman, through the Speaker, you have to understand the frustration that exists on both sides of the aisle on this legislation. We know what is needed. We know what is going to happen by the end of August. Many projects throughout the United States of America will just shut down or begin to shut down. Bills will not be paid. That is not good. That is not acceptable.

On the other hand, when the dust settles, the very committee that we represent, where everything goes through--the Ways and Means Committee--will have voted for close to $1 trillion when the dust settles, unpaid for, permanent tax cuts, many of which are never meant to be permanent. Check the Record.

So we can do this and add $1 trillion to the deficit, and we can't come up with a bipartisan 5-year or 6-year transportation plan for our roads?

Let's wait until the bridges fall down. Then we will do something about it.

[Time: 16:00]

3:58 PM EDT

Bill Pascrell Jr., D-NJ 9th

Mr. PASCRELL. I thank the ranking member, Mr. Speaker, and I want to thank our chairman, our ranking member who was just here a few moments ago.

It is ironic, as I said earlier today, when we take up the transportation and infrastructure legislation that, just a few hours ago, the champion of transportation and infrastructure passed away. He was the chairman of the Transportation Committee. At that time, it was the Public Works Committee. He left the Congress in 1992, so it is ironic.

Mr. Chairman, through the Speaker, you have to understand the frustration that exists on both sides of the aisle on this legislation. We know what is needed. We know what is going to happen by the end of August. Many projects throughout the United States of America will just shut down or begin to shut down. Bills will not be paid. That is not good. That is not acceptable.

On the other hand, when the dust settles, the very committee that we represent, where everything goes through--the Ways and Means Committee--will have voted for close to $1 trillion when the dust settles, unpaid for, permanent tax cuts, many of which are never meant to be permanent. Check the Record.

So we can do this and add $1 trillion to the deficit, and we can't come up with a bipartisan 5-year or 6-year transportation plan for our roads?

Let's wait until the bridges fall down. Then we will do something about it.

[Time: 16:00]

4:01 PM EDT

Allyson Y. Schwartz, D-PA 13th

Ms. SCHWARTZ. Mr. Speaker, our manufacturers, small business owners, and everyday commuters require a modern transportation system. Simply put, our daily lives, our safety, and our economy all require a first-rate transportation system. But our Nation's infrastructure is crumbling, endangering travelers, lengthening commutes, and holding back economic growth.

In their latest report card, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave my own home State's roads and transit a D-minus. Sadly, Pennsylvania has the largest number of crumbling bridges in our Nation, at over 5,000. This is simply unacceptable.

With the highway trust fund running out of funds, we must act to ensure that important projects continue, that workers stay on the job, and that we do not fall further behind. But the bill before us is a temporary fix. Instead, this Congress should act on a robust transportation bill--not for a few months, but for years--a plan that will not only create jobs now but will help ensure our economic competitiveness and economic growth locally and nationally for years to come. We should do our job

and pass a fully funded 6-year Federal transportation and infrastructure bill this year.

Putting this off does not make it easier. It does not build a stronger economy. While necessary, this bill is another missed opportunity by House Republicans who are short on vision, too willing to rely on fiscal gimmicks, and unable to find common ground to get the bill done--and done right.

4:01 PM EDT

Allyson Y. Schwartz, D-PA 13th

Ms. SCHWARTZ. Mr. Speaker, our manufacturers, small business owners, and everyday commuters require a modern transportation system. Simply put, our daily lives, our safety, and our economy all require a first-rate transportation system. But our Nation's infrastructure is crumbling, endangering travelers, lengthening commutes, and holding back economic growth.

In their latest report card, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave my own home State's roads and transit a D-minus. Sadly, Pennsylvania has the largest number of crumbling bridges in our Nation, at over 5,000. This is simply unacceptable.

With the highway trust fund running out of funds, we must act to ensure that important projects continue, that workers stay on the job, and that we do not fall further behind. But the bill before us is a temporary fix. Instead, this Congress should act on a robust transportation bill--not for a few months, but for years--a plan that will not only create jobs now but will help ensure our economic competitiveness and economic growth locally and nationally for years to come. We should do our job

and pass a fully funded 6-year Federal transportation and infrastructure bill this year.

Putting this off does not make it easier. It does not build a stronger economy. While necessary, this bill is another missed opportunity by House Republicans who are short on vision, too willing to rely on fiscal gimmicks, and unable to find common ground to get the bill done--and done right.

4:03 PM EDT

Danny Davis, D-IL 7th

Mr. DANNY K. DAVIS of Illinois. I thank the gentleman from Oregon for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I had hoped that we would be here passing a long-term transportation plan. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

However, I support H.R. 5021 as an initial step in strengthening the American infrastructure. This bill obviously provides immediate help to prevent default of the highway trust fund and prevents impending delays in transportation. Mr. Speaker, 30,000 people will continue to work in my State as a result of this bill and its passage.

So I commend us for at least reaching this agreement, keeping things moving, and I urge its passage.

4:03 PM EDT

Danny Davis, D-IL 7th

Mr. DANNY K. DAVIS of Illinois. I thank the gentleman from Oregon for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I had hoped that we would be here passing a long-term transportation plan. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

However, I support H.R. 5021 as an initial step in strengthening the American infrastructure. This bill obviously provides immediate help to prevent default of the highway trust fund and prevents impending delays in transportation. Mr. Speaker, 30,000 people will continue to work in my State as a result of this bill and its passage.

So I commend us for at least reaching this agreement, keeping things moving, and I urge its passage.

4:04 PM EDT

Lloyd Doggett, D-TX 35th

Mr. DOGGETT. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, today really demonstrates the House Republican fear of even trying. Their guiding strategic principle in this Congress is to do nothing and to be sure that no one else can do anything; and when they are eventually overwhelmed by a self-created crisis, as they have done with our transportation system, then to do next to nothing.

Bridges can literally fall down, highways crumble, public transportation systems are hobbled, but the House Republicans continue to reject a normal reauthorization of the Transportation Act of the type that, for decades, had broad bipartisan support in this House.

The only thing bipartisan about this last-gasp desperate effort to prevent a stoppage of transportation projects and the various groups that have endorsed it is that, after having had presented as a purported serious proposal by House Republicans that the way to stop the traffic slowdown was to have a mail or postal slowdown to finance it, they see this as a chance finally to at least prevent temporarily a total shutdown of our transportation project system. And so they are going along with it.

I am not.

I realize that to have a sound transportation system, you can't do it week to week or month to month. There has to be some long-term planning. These bridges cannot repair themselves. These potholes don't fill themselves. We often hear that freedom is not free. Well, neither are freeways.

We have to have the revenue to have the kind of responsible national transportation system of the type that Dwight Eisenhower once provided the lead on when there was bipartisan support for reasonable public investment. Our competitors understand this. They are out there designing a 21st century transportation system that will be competitive, and we are being left in the potholes.

It is essential that we have a long-term bill, not this type of stopgap measure.

4:05 PM EDT

Lloyd Doggett, D-TX 35th

Mr. DOGGETT. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, today really demonstrates the House Republican fear of even trying. Their guiding strategic principle in this Congress is to do nothing and to be sure that no one else can do anything; and when they are eventually overwhelmed by a self-created crisis, as they have done with our transportation system, then to do next to nothing.

Bridges can literally fall down, highways crumble, public transportation systems are hobbled, but the House Republicans continue to reject a normal reauthorization of the Transportation Act of the type that, for decades, had broad bipartisan support in this House.

The only thing bipartisan about this last-gasp desperate effort to prevent a stoppage of transportation projects and the various groups that have endorsed it is that, after having had presented as a purported serious proposal by House Republicans that the way to stop the traffic slowdown was to have a mail or postal slowdown to finance it, they see this as a chance finally to at least prevent temporarily a total shutdown of our transportation project system. And so they are going along with it.

I am not.

I realize that to have a sound transportation system, you can't do it week to week or month to month. There has to be some long-term planning. These bridges cannot repair themselves. These potholes don't fill themselves. We often hear that freedom is not free. Well, neither are freeways.

We have to have the revenue to have the kind of responsible national transportation system of the type that Dwight Eisenhower once provided the lead on when there was bipartisan support for reasonable public investment. Our competitors understand this. They are out there designing a 21st century transportation system that will be competitive, and we are being left in the potholes.

It is essential that we have a long-term bill, not this type of stopgap measure.

4:07 PM EDT

Earl Blumenauer, D-OR 3rd

Mr. BLUMENAUER. I yield myself the remainder of the time.

I appreciate my friend from Michigan putting into the Record what can only be regarded as reluctant letters of support. I wish that some of my colleagues would have had time to look at it. It is not a ringing endorsement of what is before us. It is a reluctant acknowledgement that that is all we have time for, that is all the Republicans will allow.

I have worked with those groups, with the road builders, with the Chamber, with the AFL-CIO, with the contractors, with elements large and small, local governments, transit. They are unanimous in their effort, in their regard that we should deal with this in the big picture. A number of them had letters before the Ways and Means Committee that it should be done this year, not kicked forward. That is why I asked our Republican chairman to allow us to hear from these people.

If we would have heard from Peter Ruane from the Road Builders in person; Tom Donohue from the Chamber; Rich Trumka from the AFL-CIO; Terence O'Sullivan, the eloquent leader of the Laborers'; from the AAA and the truckers, Bill Graves, they wouldn't endorse this approach. They would be [Page: H6257]

talking about our getting down to business. But the Republicans would not allow us a hearing, not for 43 months. So they are reduced to offering tepid letters of support

so the whole system doesn't fall apart.

Mr. Speaker, I would respectfully suggest that those are not a reason to move forward with this legislation and be happy. It is a sad commentary that this is the best that the Republicans think they can give us.

Those road groups who depend on moving freight, maintaining roads, who care about the health and well-being of our communities deserve better. Our families deserve better. The economy deserves better.

I hope that we will, in a moment, have a motion to recommit that will shorten the amount of time that we let this Congress off the hook and make sure that we don't adjourn this Congress without doing our job.

I yield back the balance of my time.

4:07 PM EDT

Earl Blumenauer, D-OR 3rd

Mr. BLUMENAUER. I yield myself the remainder of the time.

I appreciate my friend from Michigan putting into the Record what can only be regarded as reluctant letters of support. I wish that some of my colleagues would have had time to look at it. It is not a ringing endorsement of what is before us. It is a reluctant acknowledgement that that is all we have time for, that is all the Republicans will allow.

I have worked with those groups, with the road builders, with the Chamber, with the AFL-CIO, with the contractors, with elements large and small, local governments, transit. They are unanimous in their effort, in their regard that we should deal with this in the big picture. A number of them had letters before the Ways and Means Committee that it should be done this year, not kicked forward. That is why I asked our Republican chairman to allow us to hear from these people.

If we would have heard from Peter Ruane from the Road Builders in person; Tom Donohue from the Chamber; Rich Trumka from the AFL-CIO; Terence O'Sullivan, the eloquent leader of the Laborers'; from the AAA and the truckers, Bill Graves, they wouldn't endorse this approach. They would be [Page: H6257]

talking about our getting down to business. But the Republicans would not allow us a hearing, not for 43 months. So they are reduced to offering tepid letters of support

so the whole system doesn't fall apart.

Mr. Speaker, I would respectfully suggest that those are not a reason to move forward with this legislation and be happy. It is a sad commentary that this is the best that the Republicans think they can give us.

Those road groups who depend on moving freight, maintaining roads, who care about the health and well-being of our communities deserve better. Our families deserve better. The economy deserves better.

I hope that we will, in a moment, have a motion to recommit that will shorten the amount of time that we let this Congress off the hook and make sure that we don't adjourn this Congress without doing our job.

I yield back the balance of my time.

4:07 PM EDT

Earl Blumenauer, D-OR 3rd

Mr. BLUMENAUER. I yield myself the remainder of the time.

I appreciate my friend from Michigan putting into the Record what can only be regarded as reluctant letters of support. I wish that some of my colleagues would have had time to look at it. It is not a ringing endorsement of what is before us. It is a reluctant acknowledgement that that is all we have time for, that is all the Republicans will allow.

I have worked with those groups, with the road builders, with the Chamber, with the AFL-CIO, with the contractors, with elements large and small, local governments, transit. They are unanimous in their effort, in their regard that we should deal with this in the big picture. A number of them had letters before the Ways and Means Committee that it should be done this year, not kicked forward. That is why I asked our Republican chairman to allow us to hear from these people.

If we would have heard from Peter Ruane from the Road Builders in person; Tom Donohue from the Chamber; Rich Trumka from the AFL-CIO; Terence O'Sullivan, the eloquent leader of the Laborers'; from the AAA and the truckers, Bill Graves, they wouldn't endorse this approach. They would be [Page: H6257]

talking about our getting down to business. But the Republicans would not allow us a hearing, not for 43 months. So they are reduced to offering tepid letters of support

so the whole system doesn't fall apart.

Mr. Speaker, I would respectfully suggest that those are not a reason to move forward with this legislation and be happy. It is a sad commentary that this is the best that the Republicans think they can give us.

Those road groups who depend on moving freight, maintaining roads, who care about the health and well-being of our communities deserve better. Our families deserve better. The economy deserves better.

I hope that we will, in a moment, have a motion to recommit that will shorten the amount of time that we let this Congress off the hook and make sure that we don't adjourn this Congress without doing our job.

I yield back the balance of my time.

4:10 PM EDT

Don Young, R-AK

Mr. YOUNG of Alaska. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to go through history. The former chairman of the Infrastructure Committee on the last large highway bill, SAFETEA-LU, that was passed, I had a dear friend from Minnesota named Jim Oberstar who served beside me and worked with me to write that piece of legislation. Finally, he became the chairman. What is impressive about that, this gentleman had more knowledge about transportation probably than anyone in this House has ever had, including myself.

I will tell you what was the biggest disappointment of his life is he wanted to write a transportation bill, a long-term transportation bill, and fund it. And guess who said no. Our President, Mr. Obama. His Secretary, a dear friend of mine, came down and said there is no way we are going to pass a long-term bill with full funding. He did not support Jim Oberstar.

What I wanted to do was to fully fund it, and I was opposed then by the seated President, George W. Bush.

In fact, if Mr. Oberstar had the opportunity, with the Senate being in the control of the President's party and the House being in the control of the President's party, we would not be here today. We would have infrastructure, bar none. We wouldn't be discussing what we are doing today.

This measure today is a stopgap measure. But this Congress has to wake up, and the President should have woken up then when he had control to pass legislation for the infrastructure of this country.

So, when we get accused on this side of not doing anything and making a stopgap measure, go back through history. This President has failed to recognize the importance. And for those interest groups, they should have been on him at that time in support of Mr. Oberstar.

So, Mr. Speaker, I say respectfully, this is a two-way street. We have to understand this is a really important piece of legislation to keep us going, but then we have to solve it permanently. Let's be leaders on infrastructure, which we do not have down on Pennsylvania Avenue right now at this time.

4:10 PM EDT

Don Young, R-AK

Mr. YOUNG of Alaska. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to go through history. The former chairman of the Infrastructure Committee on the last large highway bill, SAFETEA-LU, that was passed, I had a dear friend from Minnesota named Jim Oberstar who served beside me and worked with me to write that piece of legislation. Finally, he became the chairman. What is impressive about that, this gentleman had more knowledge about transportation probably than anyone in this House has ever had, including myself.

I will tell you what was the biggest disappointment of his life is he wanted to write a transportation bill, a long-term transportation bill, and fund it. And guess who said no. Our President, Mr. Obama. His Secretary, a dear friend of mine, came down and said there is no way we are going to pass a long-term bill with full funding. He did not support Jim Oberstar.

What I wanted to do was to fully fund it, and I was opposed then by the seated President, George W. Bush.

In fact, if Mr. Oberstar had the opportunity, with the Senate being in the control of the President's party and the House being in the control of the President's party, we would not be here today. We would have infrastructure, bar none. We wouldn't be discussing what we are doing today.

This measure today is a stopgap measure. But this Congress has to wake up, and the President should have woken up then when he had control to pass legislation for the infrastructure of this country.

So, when we get accused on this side of not doing anything and making a stopgap measure, go back through history. This President has failed to recognize the importance. And for those interest groups, they should have been on him at that time in support of Mr. Oberstar.

So, Mr. Speaker, I say respectfully, this is a two-way street. We have to understand this is a really important piece of legislation to keep us going, but then we have to solve it permanently. Let's be leaders on infrastructure, which we do not have down on Pennsylvania Avenue right now at this time.

4:10 PM EDT

Don Young, R-AK

Mr. YOUNG of Alaska. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I would like to go through history. The former chairman of the Infrastructure Committee on the last large highway bill, SAFETEA-LU, that was passed, I had a dear friend from Minnesota named Jim Oberstar who served beside me and worked with me to write that piece of legislation. Finally, he became the chairman. What is impressive about that, this gentleman had more knowledge about transportation probably than anyone in this House has ever had, including myself.

I will tell you what was the biggest disappointment of his life is he wanted to write a transportation bill, a long-term transportation bill, and fund it. And guess who said no. Our President, Mr. Obama. His Secretary, a dear friend of mine, came down and said there is no way we are going to pass a long-term bill with full funding. He did not support Jim Oberstar.

What I wanted to do was to fully fund it, and I was opposed then by the seated President, George W. Bush.

In fact, if Mr. Oberstar had the opportunity, with the Senate being in the control of the President's party and the House being in the control of the President's party, we would not be here today. We would have infrastructure, bar none. We wouldn't be discussing what we are doing today.

This measure today is a stopgap measure. But this Congress has to wake up, and the President should have woken up then when he had control to pass legislation for the infrastructure of this country.

So, when we get accused on this side of not doing anything and making a stopgap measure, go back through history. This President has failed to recognize the importance. And for those interest groups, they should have been on him at that time in support of Mr. Oberstar.

So, Mr. Speaker, I say respectfully, this is a two-way street. We have to understand this is a really important piece of legislation to keep us going, but then we have to solve it permanently. Let's be leaders on infrastructure, which we do not have down on Pennsylvania Avenue right now at this time.